When you get hurt in a public place, it can be more confusing to pursue an injury case for damages than when you’re hurt on private property. After all, when you’re hurt in someone’s home, or in their place of business, the homeowner or business owner is usually responsible for covering your injuries, assuming that you didn’t cause your own injury.
When you’re in a public place maintained by the local municipality, however, it gets trickier. Suing a government entity carries a number of limits, complications, and immunities, and pursuing damages requires the right help. Learn how and why it can get very complicated suing a city or municipality for an injury claim, and why you need help from a Chicago personal injury lawyer.
There are a number of complications that come into play when suing a city. The first is the normal concept of legal negligence that must be proved. You have to show that the city violated a basic duty of care to keep you safe and that this violation caused the accident which resulted in your injury.
Things get more complicated, however, in a few ways. First, you need to determine that the city actually had the responsibility to keep the place where you had your accident safe. Did they bear legal responsibility, for example, to clear the sidewalk of that ice and snow, or was there a contracted company responsible?
Another complication arises in that many municipalities may have immunity to certain kinds of lawsuits. These immunities vary from city to city. In Chicago, this immunity doesn’t specifically extend to injuries on public property, but you’ll want to get advice on your specific situation. Finally, in Chicago, you can only recover a maximum of $100,000 in your case against the government, regardless of the extent of your injuries.
The first step in your case is to file a notice of claim. You must file this notice within one year of the date of your injury. The claim notice lets the city know you’re seeking damages, and it has to include your name, contact information, and all relevant information about the accident, including where it happened, when it happened, what happened, the extent of the injuries you suffered, and the amount of injury damages you seek to collect.
You then have to wait for a response. Sometimes the city may agree to pay the damages, though this is not common. It’s more likely you’ll need to pursue a legal remedy to get the compensation you need to cover your lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering.
Fighting a legal claim against the city can be a very tricky process. To get the compensation you deserve, you’ll need help from a Chicago personal injury lawyer. An attorney like those at Disparti Law Group will help you avoid pitfalls, challenge claims of immunity or responsibility, and give you the best chance at getting compensated for your injury. For help with your case, call us today and get a free consultation.